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Queen Catherine Parr and Her Love Letters

Catherine Parr, sixth wife of Henry VIII, outlived his king and went on to marry Sir Thomas Seymour, Lord Sudeley. She held the distinction as the first English queen to publish two materials under her name, promoting Protestant views.

Catherine Parr, Queen of England and Baroness Seymour of Sudeley

The first of the two books, Prayers or Meditations, was published in 1545, and became a best-seller of its day, having been reprinted 19 times until 1595.

Recently, original manuscripts of Prayers or Meditations, and another book, went out for public display at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire.

The exhibit also highlights Catherine’s love letter with Lord Sudeley.

In one of the letters, Seymour begged for Lord Sudeley to see her: "When it shall be your pleasure to repair hither you should take some pain to come early in the morning, that you may be gone again by seven o'clock.” Sadly, she died a year after marrying Lord Sudeley, while giving birth. She is the only queen to be buried in private residence.

Historian Dr. David Starkey considered Catherine Parr as one of the most important of Henry VIII’s queens.

"She was a queen with a mission. There is no doubt that Elizabeth I gets much of her confidence in ruling from watching Catherine act as Queen Regent when Henry is in France," he said.
"Elizabeth also learns much of her religion - the Protestant religion - from Catherine.
"In many ways Catherine is responsible for what makes us English, for what is the beginning of our English empire." 


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